Motorbike PoV

The Best GoPro Alternatives in 2020

By Dave Dean Cameras2 Comments

We may earn a commission from purchases you make after clicking links on this site. Learn more.

Until just a few years ago, if you wanted an action camera, you bought a GoPro. Thanks to good technology and better marketing, the company completely owned the market.

Recently, however, dozens of other companies have started making cameras that compete heavily on price and features. For many action camera buyers in 2020, especially those on a budget, picking one of these GoPro alternatives is a better option than buying the brand name version.

Picking the right model isn’t straightforward, however, and that’s why we’ve put together this buying guide. There’s often a big difference between cameras priced about the same, with a lot of garbage at the low end and high cost not always a guarantee of quality.

Whether you’re just after a cheap but good GoPro knockoff, a high-quality version for shooting 4k video, a specialized action camera for diving, or simply want the best-value action camera on the market in 2020, we’ve got you covered.

Best on a Tight Budget: Campark ACT74
  • Weight: 2.2 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 90 minutes
  • Max Resolution: 4K/30fps
  • Water Resistance: 98 feet (30m)

Best Value for Money: Akaso V50 Pro
  • Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 90 minutes
  • Max Resolution: 4K/30fps
  • Water Resistance: 98 feet (30m)

Runner-Up, Best Value for Money: Yi Lite
  • Weight: 2.5 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 130 minutes
  • Max Resolution: 4K/20fps
  • Water Resistance: 132 feet (40m)

Best for Shooting 4K Video: AKASO V50 Pro SE
  • Weight: 2.2 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 90 minutes
  • Max Resolution: 4K/60fps
  • Water Resistance: 130 feet (40m)

Best for Divers on a Budget: AKASO Brave 4
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 90 minutes
  • Max Resolution: 4K/24fps
  • Water Resistance: 98 feet (30m)

Best for Quality: Sony FDRX3000
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 120 minutes
  • Max Resolution: 4K/30fps
  • Water Resistance: 195 feet (60m)

Best for Kids: VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180
  • Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Batteries: 4 x AA
  • Max Resolution: 640x480
  • Water Resistance: 6 feet (2m)

Best on a Tight Budget: Campark ACT74

【2020 Upgrade】Campark 4K 20MP Action Camera EIS External Microphone Remote Control WiFi Waterproof Camera with 170° Wide Angle and 2 Batteries

With even the cheapest GoPro Hero model starting around $200, it’s hard to believe you can get anything decent for under a third of that.

While there’s no shortage of junk in the sub-$100 action camera market, search hard enough and you’ll find the occasional diamond in the rough. Right now, the shiniest of those diamonds is the Campark ACT74.

Given its specs and what comes in the box, this little camera is quite the bargain. You get 4k recording at 30fps, 16MP stills, and waterproofing to a very respectable 30m/98ft with the bundled case. Wi-Fi is built in, which lets you transfer footage and control most settings via the mobile app.

The ACT74 ships with a pair of batteries rated at up to 90 minutes each, and a grab-bag of mounts that let you attach it to helmets, skateboards, handlebars, and more. You’d pay extra for all of these accessories when buying most other action cameras, making Campark’s offering even better value.

Of course, some compromises have been made to hit this camera’s aggressive price. Colour saturation and image detail aren’t particularly impressive, especially in low light, and you’ll get much smoother video shooting in HD than in 4k mode.

The 170-degree lens has an extremely wide viewing angle, but that comes at the cost of barrel distortion (ie, curvature) at the edges. Sound recording isn’t the best and can be quite muffled, a common problem with cheaper devices. That’s less of an issue than you might expect, though, since the focus with these sorts of cameras is usually on the visuals.

Overall, with good lighting and a steady hand, this camera can still deliver very usable footage both on land and under the waves. If you’re looking to try your hand at action photography and video but don’t have much money to spend on it, the Campark ACT74 is the perfect place to start.

  • Very low price
  • Wide range of bundled accessories
  • Good waterproofing with included case
  • Video quality could be better, especially in 4k
  • Sound recording can be muffled
Buy on Amazon

Best Value for Money: Akaso V50 Pro

AKASO V50 Pro Native 4K30fps 20MP WiFi Action Camera with EIS Touch Screen 100 feet Waterproof Camera Web Camera Support External Mic Remote Control Sports Camera with Helmet Accessories Kit

While you can get a perfectly passable camera like the above Campark model for under $50, spending a bit more gets you something considerably better.

Our top value pick is the Akaso V50 Pro, which shoots video at up to 4K/30 fps, takes stills at 20MP, and has a variety of hardware and software features that lift it above the rest of the budget camera pack.

There’s a diving mode that compensates for the loss of red light underwater, and the inbuilt image stabilization does a decent job of reducing judder from vibrations and shaky hands. Battery life is standard for this type of camera, at around 90 minutes.

You can quickly switch between four viewing angles, from narrow to super-wide. This is something we’d like to see more often in low-cost cameras. Picking a narrower field of view helps avoid the barrel distortion that’s a hallmark of many action camera videos. There’s also a Distortion Calibration setting to help compensate for this issue.

Video quality is generally good, although colors can appear a little artificial or washed out if you’re not shooting in bright conditions. If you’re looking for 4K/60fps, though, you’ll need to go for the “SE” model discussed below.

Unusually, the V50 supports an external clip-on microphone that plugs into the USB port on the side of the camera. It’s a welcome addition, especially since the inbuilt mic isn’t particularly good. If you plan to capture usable sound to go with your video, particularly voices, plan to spend a few extra bucks on the mic as well.

To sweeten the deal even further, Akaso throws in a range of accessories. There’s an extra battery and dedicated charger, a wrist-mounted remote control, several different mounts, and a waterproof case that’s rated down to 30m/98ft.

There’s also the usual Android and iOS app support, connecting to your phone over Wi-Fi for controlling settings and transferring files.

  • Great value for money
  • Wide range of bundled accessories
  • Good waterproofing with the included case
  • Extra features versus similarly-priced competitors
  • Colour accuracy not the best, especially in lower light
  • Sound recording not great with internal mic
Buy on Amazon

Runner-Up, Best Value for Money: Yi Lite

YI Lite Action Camera, 4K 16MP Sports Cam with Sony Sensor, EIS, 150°Wide-angle Lens, 2' Touchscreen for Underwater, Outdoor Activity (Waterproof Case Included)

Yi’s range of action cameras has forged a reputation for quality on a budget in recent years, and its cheapest model came close to being our top value pick. The Yi Lite packs a lot into its unassuming body, with plenty to offer those who don’t need all the bells and whistles of high-end models.

While it’s technically a 4k camera, the 15 fps (NTSC) or 20 fps (PAL) frame rates at that resolution aren’t enough for smooth video unless you’re using a tripod, especially since the inbuilt image stabilization doesn’t work in that mode.

Shooting in HD, however, is a whole different story, with smooth 50/60 fps video that’s surprisingly good given the cost of the camera. Still images are taken at 16MP, and you’ll get good low-light performance and around two hours of battery no matter which video mode you’re shooting in.

While a little small, the 2″ touchscreen is responsive, and the interface easy to use, making the camera’s various settings more accessible than you find on most budget cameras. Don’t expect too much from recorded sound, however: as with other low-cost action cameras, it’s not the best.

The Yi Lite typically costs around the same as our top value pick, the AKASO V50 Pro (above), when bundled with the waterproof case. If you know you’ll never take it underwater, you can save a few bucks by leaving the casing out.

  • Good value
  • Solid battery life
  • Impressive still and HD video quality
  • No image stabilization in 4k
  • Sound recording isn’t the best
  • No extra accessories included
Buy on Amazon

Best for Shooting 4K Video: AKASO V50 Pro SE

AKASO V50 Pro Leave No Trace Special Edition Action Camera Touch Screen 4K60 Waterproof Camera Features EIS and Wi-Fi Remote Control Sports Camera with 3 Batteries Wrist Strap and Accessory Kit

As impressed as we are by the AKASO V50 Pro, there’s one thing it doesn’t excel at: 4K video. If you want better 4k footage without spending a fortune, you’ll need to go for the V50 Pro Special Edition+ instead.

While most specifications are the same as the V50 Pro, there’s one big difference with the Special Edition: it can record 4K video at 60fps. There’s electronic image stabilization when shooting at 4k/30fps and below, and if you want to shoot stills with it, the 20MP sensor does a better-than-average job.

You’ll get good color and detail from both video and still images, although a high-speed microSD card is vital for best results when shooting video at 4K/60fps. The camera won’t let you start recording at that setting if the card can’t handle it.

You can hook up an external microphone to the micro-USB port, which is also used for charging. The camera feels surprisingly well-built, and there’s a bright 2″ touchscreen, Wi-Fi support, and a vast range of mounts and accessories included in the box.

So what’s not to like? Not much, really. The camera isn’t natively waterproof, unlike the GoPro models, although it does come with a waterproof housing rated to 40m/130ft.

While you’ll get a few nice features like diving mode and wind noise reduction, you won’t get most of the fancy hardware extras like GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope that GoPro includes. In all honesty, though, the majority of action camera buyers don’t need the data those sensors provide.

Overall this is a solid GoPro competitor for a lot less money, and is worth a very close look if you’re planning to regularly shoot 4k video. A portion of every sale goes to support the “Leave No Trace” campaign: a nice touch.

Check out our full AKASO V50 Pro SE review here.

  • Impressive specs for the money
  • Good video quality, even in 4k
  • Support for an external microphone
  • No extra accessories in the box
  • Audio quality could be better
  • No water or dust-proofing without the case
Buy on Amazon

Best for Divers on a Budget: AKASO Brave 4

AKASO Brave 4 4K 20MP WiFi Action Camera Ultra HD with EIS 30m Underwater Waterproof Camera Remote Control 5X Zoom Underwater Camcorder with 2 Batteries and Helmet Accessories Kit

Action cameras are ideal for diving, and it’s the main way I’ve used mine over the years. Unless you’re underwater all the time, though, it’s hard to justify the cost of a GoPro just for that purpose.

Fortunately there’s no need to spend that kind of money, with good alternatives available that’ll handle the needs of most recreational divers for a whole lot less cash. The AKASO Brave 4+ is the prime example, an inexpensive little camera with a bunch of diver-friendly features.

It’s essentially a slimmed-down version of our top value pick, the AKASO V50 Pro (above), with many of the same features. Basic image stabilization is included, as is control of the viewing angle from narrow to super-wide.

There’s still a big range of mounts and accessories thrown in, including the wrist-mounted remote. The remote isn’t waterproof, unfortunately, so you’ll still need to use the camera’s buttons to change settings underwater.

At roughly 90 minutes, battery life is enough to get through even the longest dive. Since there’s a second battery and an external charger included in the box, you can always charge one battery from a portable battery pack back on the boat while using the other one inside the camera.

You don’t get great 4k video, however (footage is much better in HD) and image stabilization is better on some of AKASO’s other models. If those are important to you, it’s worth dropping the cash on either of the V50 Pro versions we mention above.

If not, then save your money. At under $100, the Brave 4 is easily one of the best cheap GoPro alternatives for divers.

For those needing even better waterproofing, the housing included with the Sony FDRX3000 (below) is rated to 60m / 195 feet. You’ll pay considerably more for it, but since that depth is well beyond recreational SCUBA limits, you can be certain the camera can handle even your deepest dives with ease.

  • Low price
  • Wide range of bundled accessories, including spare battery and charger
  • Good waterproofing with the included case
  • Video much better in HD than 4k
  • Sound recording adequate at best
Buy on Amazon

Best for Quality: Sony FDRX3000

Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4K, White

Sony’s taken a different approach when it comes to action cameras, with its FDRX3000 sacrificing a little size and weight for excellent image stabilization, proper zoom, and better video. You’ll notice the difference in your bank balance as well, but that’s not unusual for Sony gear.

While it’s larger than the other models listed here, this is by no means a big camera. At 29mm x 47mm x 83mm and 114g, there’s no problem mounting it on your helmet or handlebars.

The most impressive aspect of the FDRX3000 is its optical image stabilization, which is far better than the electronic version used by cheaper competitors.

The visual improvement is obvious, with smooth pans and virtually none of the shake and judder you get with other action cameras. Colors and detail are also impressive, especially in good lighting conditions.

A pair of front-mounted microphones means you’ll get better sound recording than most other action cameras, and in stereo, but there’s also the option of using an external mic if you need it.

Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth are all built-in, although they drain the battery. You’ll get close to two hours with them all turned off, and as little as half that when they’re enabled.

The camera maxes out at 4k/30fps. For the money, it’d be nice to see that boosted to 60fps, although the quality image stabilization means 30fps video is much better than with most of the competition. Video footage is typically excellent, but still images aren’t as good. This is a video-focused device, and it shows.

For those shooting underwater, the bundled housing is rated to an impressive 60m/195 feet. There’s not much else in the box, which is unfortunate. At this price you’d hope for basics like a lens cap, mounts, or an extra battery. Those, and a range of other useful extras, can all be bought separately as needed.

  • Fantastic image stabilization
  • Excellent underwater housing
  • Impressive video and sound quality
  • Expensive
  • No extras included in the box
  • Still images not great
Buy on Amazon

Best for Kids: VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180

VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180

Do you have young kids who’d like to film their own adventures? Not prepared to spend a whole bunch of cash to let them do it? Check out the VTech Kidizoom 180.

The bright design and simple controls are suitably child-friendly, while the ruggedized case protects the camera from both damage and water up to 6ft deep. The lens rotates through 180 degrees, so it can be used for both selfies and more traditional video.

A pair of mounts are included in the packaging. One’s for use on bike handlebars, while the other attaches the camera to flat surfaces like skateboards and helmets. A small amount of storage is built-in, but you’ll likely want a microSD card for extra capacity.

The non-removable battery lasts up to two hours. It charges via the included micro-USB cable, which is also used to upload photos and video to a computer.

Don’t expect your child to shoot an Oscar-winning masterpiece with the Kidizoom 180 (the 640×480 sensor is the same resolution as old camera phones from the early 2000’s) but it’s fine for getting started, at a price that’s very hard to beat.

  • Very inexpensive
  • Rugged, child-friendly design
  • Mounts and waterproof case come as standard
  • Video quality very low
  • Battery isn’t replaceable
Buy on Amazon

Title image via farioff, other images via Amazon

About the Author
Dave Dean

Dave Dean

Facebook Twitter

Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a traveler for 20 years, and a geek for even longer. When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken-down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.


  1. Avatar

    You missed the Apeman A80, also not a bad model a d cones in between £60-£80.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.